When I begin to talk about the process of aging—here is what usually happens. People roll their eyes and look down, or sometimes they just sigh and gaze at me indulgently. Maybe you are doing that right now.
But I soldier on—intent on sharing enticing pieces of age and health-related information—ever looking for new ideas that may have practical application to a life well lived.
There are occasions when I’ve pointed to the importance of laughter in preventing heart disease (Archives of General Psychiatry, 1994) or touted red and purple berries as being particularly good for maintaining cognitive health. (The Memory Prescription, Gary Small, 2006)
Sometimes I just ruminate on those things that touch my heart. Like the time our aging spaniel smiled at me. Or the middle-of-the night experience with our seven-year-old granddaughter, spending the summer with us and appearing at our bedside to ask “Are cats color blind?”
I write a weekly column about life’s little idiosyncrasies and this business of aging and have enough readership to know I am not the only one pondering this stuff—not the only one still asking questions at age sixty and counting.
Getting older is the only thing we all hold in common. I put that phrase in a recent column and it clearly resonated with folks, so I thought I would repeat it. I choose to think of it as underscoring a well-made point, not an indication of cognitive repetitiveness and early dementia. But you decide.
I have a theory that ‘aging well’ means you don’t take yourself too seriously. I choose to embrace the reality that flashes back at me when I unexpectedly catch sight of myself in a reflection.
My plan is simple. Try to do it well—aging, that is. Stay active, eat wisely and laugh long and hard when I recognize my own youth-obsessed vanity—.
Floss. Visit ailing friends and bring Gerber daisies. And if I am ailing—I may need to buy my own daisies. I will put them in a red vase with a smiley face on it.
I made a pact with myself a few years ago. I promised I would not let aging ‘just happen’ to me—I wanted to be an active participant in the process of getting older. “Ever learning” was my declared motto.
And so I try. I look for information and insight-everywhere.
And recently, bouyed by a USDA grant, I decided to package information about aging well in a way that made it easily accessible on an on-going basis–without hassle or cost. I called it Mastery of Aging Well.
Online learning is new territory for most of us who are in our sixth decade. And blogging is never something I anticipated I would be doing. But now that I am into it, I find it rather purging. Stream of consciousness for sure.
You just write what you are thinking—like a form of therapy. Here’s a thought. “If you learn—you must teach.” And another……
Ageing is such a normal process of evolution that I think is beautiful… Let us all live life to the full.
I love you thoughts. I too am not willing to let aging just happen to me, I am going to an active participant int this process. I am gathering information to provide seniors education regarding complimentary therapies for pain management, with enough information to for them to make informed decisions about their health and wellness.
Do you have any suggestions about the best structure for such education
Great BLOG! I am actually enjoyingmy life now more than when I was younger. I don’t have all the responsibilties now that I had then, and I am not trying to please anyone but myself! I am a true OPAL (Older Peole with Active Lifestyles) genuine. Thank for the program. I will definitely indugle!